I’d probably consider my primary instrument to be my voice : for me, equipment is there as accompaniment and embellishment. That said, I play acoustic/electric guitars and laud (a bit) and penny whistle (on a few songs and tunes).
I must have shared much the same experience as Fiona as a kid – as far as singing was concerned : at family gatherings it would start innocuously enough with “Ken’ll give us a wee song, won’t you son !”. My lack of enthusiasm would be roundly ignored; chairs would be turned to face me at the impromptu stage (the carpet in front of the fireplace, usually) and the assembled audience would emit a barely disguised level of malevolence and expectation until the performance commenced. I’d retire relieved when it was all over.
But maybe these experiences began to teach me to respect the voice as a musical instrument and to begin to appreciate its capacity.
Tanninzie gave me the opportunity to explore music which had a depth to it (for me at any rate) and working with Fiona and Geoff taught me how to phrase; to create harmony structures and lines, and to integrate with others with strong vocal skills.
After Tanninzie, I performed periodically with other musicians at university and in the late 1990's/early 2000's, worked with Mick and others in an electric folk/rock-
My first ‘serious’ acoustic guitar (in the early Tanninzie days) was an American Harmony Sovereign: Nice guitar, with well-
I next invested in a Fender acoustic when the company ventured into that territory. I had a F115 model for the last couple of years of Tanninzie’s life. It had a nice, full and mellow tone especially with D’Angelico silk & steel strings fitted. ( I’ve not been able to source these in the last twenty years : more’s the pity.) Some years later I had a guitar hand built which I kept for a while. After that I had a Yamaha FG420a which was a good solid workhorse.
I then picked up an Epiphone AJS 18 (sunburst finish) which I use just now. It’s solid-
I also currently have a Freshman FD 500 series which also has a brilliant neck and is very playable. All solid, quality wood construction, it has a great, rich tone and is fitted with an EQ/pick-
The laud is of unidentified origin, being unbadged and unlabelled, but lets me bring a different sound to the band. (It’s essentially a 12-
My final stringed instrument is a Fender Strat (1963 reissue) which is great although I could hardly be said to push it to its limits !!
Like Mik, my instruments are fed ‘direct’ into the PA system rather than relying on a back-
My whistles are used sparingly and selectively but filling in around an electric and percussive core can be quite interesting and atmospheric.
I think the intended line-
|May You Never
|One More Day
|Down Where The Drunkards Roll
|The Hiring Fair
|The Poor Ditching Boy
|Too Close To The Wind
|Wall Of Death
|Then and Know